Martello Tower No.1


Martello Tower no.1

One of the original 73 brick-built towers constructed along the Kent and East Sussex coastline, The Martello Tower was used in the early 19th Century to protect against the threat of invasion from Napoleon’s French forces.

The project involved the conversion of the Grade 2 Listed Scheduled Ancient Monument into a unique dwelling, set on the cliffs 200 feet above East Wear Bay in Kent.  The client purchased the tower with previous conversion works being incomplete. The key aims of the project were to improve the building’s internal arrangement, for the design to showcase the unique features of the original structure and its surroundings.

Clague worked closely with Historic England to develop a sensitive scheme for the conversion with a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the original structure. The internal layout and treatment celebrates the materiality of the wonderful exposed brickwork including curved wall surfaces and brick vaulted ceilings. Warm timber flooring adds a softness whilst maintaining the warm tonality of the brick surfaces.

A key aspect of the works involved the re-forming of a floor structure at the gun platform level to provide additional living space, providing a mezzanine seating area and acting as a viewing balcony. This new balcony could then enjoy 360 degree panoramic views through the glazed openings enabling the existing building and its coastal surroundings to be fully appreciated.

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